"The document caused a serious error the last time it was opened" when you open a file in Excel or Word


When you try to open a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or a Microsoft Word document that you could not previously open in that program, you receive the following error message:

The document 'Filename' caused a serious error the last time it was opened. Would you like to continue opening it? You receive this message every time that you try to open the file.


This problem occurs because the file is included in the list of disabled files for the Microsoft Office program. The program adds a file to this list if the file causes a serious error, such as causing the program to close unexpectedly (crash) during two or more attempts to open it.

This error message lets you avoid potential problems that may occur if you open the file.


To resolve this problem, follow the appropriate steps for the version of Word or of Excel that you are running.

Microsoft Office Excel 2007 and Microsoft Office Word 2007 or later versions

Disable add-ins. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. In Excel, click File, click Options, and then click Add-Ins.
  2. In the Manage list, click COM Add-Ins, and then click Go.
  3. In the COM Add-Ins dialog box, clear the check box for any one of the add-ins in the list that's selected, and then click OK.
  4. Restart the application (not in safe mode).

If the program starts successfully, the add-in for which you cleared the check box is the one that's causing the problem. If the program doesn't start after you complete these steps, repeat these steps by clearing the check box for a different add-in.

If the program doesn't start after you have tested all the listed add-ins, the problem isn't related to the add-ins. To learn about other reasons why this may problem may occur, go to the "References" section.

If the problematic add-in is a third-party product, we recommend that you go to the company website to get a newer version of the add-in. If there's no newer version available or if you don’t have to use the add-in, you can leave that check box cleared in the COM Add-Ins list.


If these steps do not work, the file may be damaged and not repairable. For more information about corrupted files, see the following articles:


I get a "stopped working" error when I start Office applications on my PC